Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oatmeal, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I saw these being made on Giada at Home and just HAD to try them.  While most kids love chocolate chip cookies, I dislike them.  My favorite is still my mom's homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.  They're warm, chewy, and comforting - just like a big hug from mom.  That being said, Giada's recipe is terrible!  I was left with a heaping pile of crumbly oaty messiness that made me sad for the loss of an entire cup of cranberries which are my favorite baking ingredient.

I decided to send Giada's recipe to the recycling bin and pull out mom's tried and true recipe and make my own changes.  The result is pure awesomeness.  I brought these to work as brain food for an institute day for my fellow teachers.  I left a small container on my table and saved the rest to bring for a large group work day.  After about two and a half hours of listening to a speaker we rotated tables for an activity and I came back to find a post-it on the container that read "Please hungry me cookies."  Clearly the brain food idea was a good one.  They were a huge hit and I left for the weekend with only a few cookies left.  They're delicious!  Crunchy on the outside, chewey on the inside and packed with delicious cranberries and chocolate - these might be my new favorite cookies.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
  • 2 C flour (I used equal parts all purpose flour and whole wheat flour)  
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 C old fashioned oats
  • 2 sticks of room temperature butter
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C dried cranberries
  • 6 oz chopped semi sweet chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and oats.
  3. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the vanilla and eggs.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients until incorporated.
  6. Mix in the cranberries and chocolate until just combined.
  7. Scoop and roll the dough into walnut sized balls.
  8. Place on your baking sheet about 3 inches apart and bake for 10-14 minutes.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints

So the blog has been having some weird formatting issues so if there are no longer 12 days of Christmas Cookies on this site, you'll know why.  I'll get around to reposting those recipes one of these days.  Hopefully, those issues won't show up in this post.

I made these cute little cookies to bring to work to celebrate a friend from work's birthday.  I used raspberry jelly but you could substitute any flavor you like or use a variety.  I loved the end result.  It was like having a cookie version of your favorite childhood lunch.  Okay, so it's still one of my favorite lunches now.  :) Enjoy!

hand juicer used to make indents

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints
Makes 40
  • 1 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C smooth peanut butter
  • 1 stick room temperature butter
  • 1/3 C granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1/3 C packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C jelly (I used raspberry)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using a paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat together the peanut butter and butter.
  4. Add the sugars to the peanut butter and butter mixture and beat until pale and fluffy.
  5. Mix in the egg and vanilla until just incorporated.
  6. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Scoop out level tablespoons (about the size of a large marble) and roll into balls.  Roll each ball in sugar and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake until cookies are puffy, about 10 minutes and remove from the oven.  Make indentations in the center.  I use the end of a a juicer but you can use anything that will make a round depression like the handle of a wooden spoon.  Return to oven, and bake until the edges are golden brown, another 4 minutes more in my oven.
  9. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
  10. Heat jelly in a sauce pan or cheat like me and pop it in the microwave. Spoon about 1/2 tsp into each cookie.
  11. Cookies can be stored in a single layer for about 1 week.